The military. Education. Job creation. Women’s rights.
These are all issues that some Stephens’ students find important when deciding on which candidate they will vote for next Tuesday in the presidential election.
President Obama will vie for a second term against the Republican presidential candidate, Governor Mitt Romney. For some college students unlike the women I spoke to, these names and faces may be ALL that they know about this election.
“Stephens women, some of them have no interest in politics,” said senior MPA major, Grace Deyermond. “Others are extremely interested. Others simply don’t have the time.”
Four students interviewed for this story were split in political parties, but all had the same belief—the college generation of students is very uninformed.
“(For) people in my age group, it feels like the only reason why certain people are involved is because they’re seeing other people involved,” said Aaminah Muhammad, sophomore Education Major.
Statistics from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement show that nearly 46 million young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are eligible to vote. This number makes up 21 percent of the voting eligible population in the United States, giving college students a stronger voice in politics than ever before.
That is why some Stephens students believe it is vital to stay updated on the political candidates and their plans.
“These people are running our country, so it’s detrimental to know who you’re voting for and why,” Muhammad said.
With this concern, these students said Stephens should step up during an election year and encourage students to become involved in the political process and vote. Earlier this month, Stephens SGA hosted a watch party for the first presidential debate in the student union, but one student said she would like to experience politics in the classrooms.
“During the election year, offer more government and more politics classes because I think more girls are interested in it, they’re just scared to say something because they don’t want to offend other people,” said junior MPA major, Erika Watson.
In the meantime, these students recommended staying above the “popular influence” and find the candidate that best fits your needs. Researching the candidates and watching the debates are two suggestions the students proposed.
“Make your own decision off of what’s factual, and not off of what everyone else is doing,” Muhammad said.
Most importantly, the students all agreed that voting is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.
“Just vote,” Watson said. “I don’t care who you vote for. Just vote.”
It’s not too late. To get up to speed on the presidential candidates, visit the websites at the bottom of this article and cast your vote on November 6.
- Reuters: A source for the latest in the campaign trail.
- ProCon.org: Breaks down each candidates’ views on every political issue.
- CNN: Shows President Obama and Governor Romney’s viewpoints on major issues.